If you spend extended periods sitting, you may be suffering from anterior pelvic tilt. Try these easy at-home exercises daily to correct this misalignment of your hips.
Anterior pelvic tilt is a condition in which the pelvis is rotated forward from its natural position.
This issue affects about 75% of women and 85% of men (1). When left untreated, this misalignment can lead to health issues, including excessive lower back curvature, weakness, and hip pain.
Pelvic Alignment and Posture
Your pelvis plays a pivotal role in activities like walking, running, and lifting. It’s also what helps maintain proper posture.
An anterior pelvic tilt occurs when the pelvis rotates forward, causing an increased curvature in the spine (2). Anterior pelvic tilt is often caused by prolonged sitting and a lack of exercise.
Individuals with this tilt might experience tightness in the front of the pelvis and thighs, coupled with weakness in the glutes and abdominals.
Over time, it can lead to severe lower back pain, hip and knee discomfort, and compromised posture.
The good news is you can return the pelvis to a neutral, pain-free position with simple at-home exercises.
How to Check if You Have an Anterior Pelvic Tilt?
Not sure if you have an anterior pelvic tilt? Test yourself using a self-assessment known as the Thomas Test to check for signs of an anterior pelvic tilt.
- Sit on the edge of a stable table.
- Lie back, allowing your legs to dangle off the table at the knees.
- Draw one leg in towards your chest, holding it under the knee and bending it until it touches your chest.
- Repeat the process with the other leg.
In a correctly aligned pelvis, the back of the resting leg should make contact with the table while your back remains flat on the table as well. If you need to extend or rotate the leg to reach the table, or if you need to arch your back, it suggests tight hip flexors and potential pelvic tilt.
5 Anterior Pelvic Tilt Exercises and Stretches
Below I’ll share five anterior pelvic tilt exercises you can do daily to correct anterior pelvic tilt.
1. Half-kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
Try the Half-Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch to loosen your tight hip flexors and enhance your hip flexibility!
- Extend your left leg forward, lunging until your right knee rests on the ground. For added comfort, use a towel beneath your right knee.
- Push your pelvis forward, contracting your gluteus and abdominal muscles.
- Gently lean forward until you sense a stretch in the right hip flexor and inner thigh.
- Maintain the position for 30 seconds, release, and repeat, aiming for up to 5 repetitions.
- Switch to the opposite leg.
During this stretch, ensure there’s no tension at the front of your thigh. While it shouldn’t be painful, you should feel mild tension in your hip flexors.
2. Glute Bridge
As mentioned earlier, addressing glute weakness is crucial for correcting anterior pelvic tilt. Try bridges in order to isolate and strengthen your glutes!
Performing the Exercise:
- Lie on your back, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor.
- Press your heels down, lifting your buttocks and low back.
- Hold for a second, then return to the starting position to complete one repetition.
- Aim for 10-12 reps per set, completing 3 sets per session, ideally 1-2 times daily. Strengthen those glutes!
3. Kneeling Leg Lift Kick Back
Give this dynamic exercise a try in order to sculpt your abs, stretch your back, and tone those glutes!
- Begin on hands and knees, aligning hips with knees.
- Maintain a neutral pelvis and parallel back to the ground.
- Exhale, pull the belly button toward the spine and arch the back.
- Hold for 2 seconds, returning to a neutral position.
- Extend one leg back, lifting it to align with your body for 5 seconds.
- Lower the leg and repeat up to 10 times.
- Switch legs to target both sides.
4. Pelvic Tilt
This exercise strengthens the abdominal and gluteal muscles while also improving mobility in your spine.
- Begin lying on the floor, legs bent, and toes pointing forward.
- Draw your belly button toward the spine, lifting your pelvis toward the ceiling.
- Engage your glutes and hip muscles, tilting your pelvis forward. Hold for 5 seconds.
- Perform 5 sets of 20 repetitions.
This lower-body exercise strengthens the gluteus muscles, hamstrings, and quadriceps, among others.
- Position your feet shoulder-width apart, toes facing forward.
- Descend into a seated position, ensuring your thighs align parallel to the floor. Keep abs tight and maintain a neutral back.
- Propel yourself into a standing position, slightly shifting your pelvis forward by activating the glutes.
- Repeat 15 to 20 times.
Maintain proper form: prevent knees from going over toes or rotating inward. Keep a neutral back; avoid flattening or arching excessively. Activate abdominals and glutes for optimal results. Tip: Focus straight ahead, envisioning sitting on an imaginary chair.
Add these anterior pelvic tilt exercises and stretches to your daily routine to get the best results.